Quantum Dots Used To Visualize Cellular Processes

Roland Piquepaille writes "German researchers at the Max Planck Institute are using nanotechnology to take movies of cellular processes. They used Quantum Dots (or QDs) as nano-sized markers to visualize DNA sequences. This new approach is crucial for the development of new cancer drugs. "These Quantum Dots are nano-sized semiconductor crystals a mere ten millionth of a millimeter in diameter that fluoresce in several different colors upon excitation with a laser source. These crystals enabled the researchers to deliver real-time video-clips of signal transmission in the so-called erbB receptor family, important targets for many anti-tumor drugs such as antibodies directed against breast cancer." More details and references are available in this overview including some isolated shots from a movie showing live cells activation."

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